*COncerning the straunge opinions in the world of Musicke, and the thrée folde conceits of variable minds, I haue thought good (so farre as the eternall li∣cense shall permit or suffer) somewhat to speake thereof: The occasion is, yt wher∣as many cannot away at all with Mu∣sick, as if it were some odious skill ran∣ged from hell, rather stirred vp by Di∣uells, then reuealed by Angels: some are indifferent, and can abide it better in the chamber of Venus, then in the temple of Minerua, and some do so far dote in mu∣sicke, without the which they think ther is no religion, that betwéene these vnin∣different iudgmentes, I am in doubt to speak, or so to frame a speech that might qualifie so foule a discord, concluding yt if Musick be the ordinance of God, as at other gifts of nature are, then how com∣meth it to passe, that .7. artes, tearmed li∣berall, are allowed, wherof Musick hath ben account of ye number one, except the late 8. art of Adulation, béeing placed in Musicks roome, be allowed for ye seuenth, which if Curiositie, béeing made iudge, haue recorded ye same in self-wils booke. I leaue to these thrée their owne, & yet proceed with those opinions, that maye stande with discreation, concerning the same.
In the first booke of Cronicles, called in Latine Verba Dierum, or after the Greekes Paralipomenon, which the He∣brues cal Dibre Haiamim, historical, ca. 15. when the Prophet Dauid had prepa∣red a house for the Arke of the Lord, he called all Israel together to Ierusalem, to fetch the Arke of ye Lord vnto his place, which hee had ordeined for it, &c. And Dauid spake to the thiefe heade of ye Le∣uites, yt they should appoint certeine of their brethren, to sing with instruments of Musicke, Psalteries, Harps, & Cym∣bales, yt they might make a sound, and to sing on high with ioyfulnes, &c. And Da∣uid & the elders of Israel, & the Captains ouer thousands, went to fetch the Arke of the appointment of the Lord, out of ye house of Obed Edom with gladnesse. The Arke is brought forth of the house of Abinadob, yt was in Gibeon, which was a high place of ye citie of Baale, vn∣to the citie of Dauid, called Zion, lieng on the North side of Ierusalem. Samuel, 2. booke. cap. 6. Cro. 1. boo. ca. 15. 2. Cro. cap. 5. ver. 13. These instruments & other ceremonies which they obserued, were instructions of their infancie, which con∣tinued to ye comming of Christ: (ye note of the later Church) of then there should haue been a finall end of Musicke, why is it not absolutely forbiddē, or if it be tol∣lerable why is not the abuse taken a∣way (& not Musicke it selfe) because of a∣buse, if Musicke be but a sound, no more is the voice, it is better to heare good & godly Musicke, then ••baude and filthye talke, or a christian Psalme then a wre∣ked sonet. Seeing ye Musicke hath so be∣haued her selfe, yt shee is not allowed by the old Testament, as many affirme, be∣cause as they saye, she had her continu∣ance but vntil ye comming of Christ: yet from the time of Samuel, vntill the time of Iesus Christ, it largely appeareth she was in estimation, & although the super∣stitious pagans & Idolatrous Gentiles, hauing the same instruments yt the god∣ly had (with the which they committed their abhominations) this notwithstan∣ding was no •e•l••ng nor disabling of ye Musicke which ye Prophet Dauid vsed, the Prophet Esay, cap. 22. commended. Daniel. 3. 1. Mac. cap. 9. Apo. 18. haue ex∣pressed. Let vs sée farther cōcerning mu∣sicke, what the newe Testament either liketh or alloweth: Wherefore be ye not vnwise, but vnderstand what the wil of Page 425 the Lord is. And be not dronke with wine, wherin is excesse but he filled with the spirite, speaking vnto your selues in Psalmes & Hymnes, & spirituall songs, singing and making melodie to the Lord in your heartes, &c. Eph. 5. verse. 17. 18. 19. Giue thanks alwayes for all things vnto God, euen the Father, in the name of our Lord Iesus Christ. Submitting your selues one to another, in the feare of God. Collossians. 3. verse. 16. Let the woord of Christ dwell in you plenteously in all wisedome, teaching and admoni∣shing your selues in Psalmes and Hymnes and spirituall songs. Singing with grace in your heartes to the Lord. Iames. 5. verse. 13. Is anye among you afflicted (or greeued in minde) let him pray: is any merrie: let him sing. Heer∣by the godly are allowed to sing, whos• instruments are their bodyes, and whose •toppes or strings are good intents. Un∣to the bodyes belong ye foure Elements, the foure complections, and the fiue sen∣ses, if any of these abound or dimminishe, the concord of the boydes is altered. Al∣so the minde is tourned to discorde, no lesse by a crabbed imagination: But what canne we saye for Instrumentes, that our former discourse maye ap∣peare vniforme, that is to saye, as well the instrument as the voice, and both to∣gether. 1. Epistle. Corinth. cap. 14. verse. 7.8. Moreouer, thinges without lyfe which giue a sounde, whether it bee a Pipe or an Harpe, except they make a distinction in the soundes, howe shall it bee knowen what is piped or harped. And if the Trumpet giue an vncertaine sounde, who shall prepare himselfe to battayle. In the Reuc•lation, S. Iohn sayth. Chap. 14. verse. 2. And I hearde the voyce of Harpers, harping with theyr Harpes. And they sung as it were a newe song before the Throne, &c. See∣ing then that the holye Scriptures in the newe Testament condempns not Musicke, (but onelye the abusers there∣of,) what reason, or what authoritye is there left why Musicke shoulde not bee vsed with song in anye place conue∣nient, is so bee it bee not hurtfull, in the Kinges presence, Chappell, or Or•so∣rye, in Cathedrall Churches some where, or what offence, else where. It maye bee that some will aunswere vn∣to me, and saye, that Musicke in those places is Poperye. But I demaunde agayne, where was the knowledge of Poperye when Dauid praysed the Lorde with it, when the Ar•stle Paule knowe of it, and when Saint Iohn from heauen hearde it. If it bee so (that Musick, as it hath ben in very deede too much abused in these our later times, shall it therefore for that abuse be vtter∣ly banished and put aside, which wyll stand with as good a reason, as when a man hath stolen a horse, the Lawe shall hang his soule: yet who is so ignorant, the fact beeing committed, but that both bodye and soule is present. Nowe fol∣loweth the opinion of Saint Augu∣stine, of Cornelius Agrippa, of Peter Martir, and of Lodowicke Lioide, Gen∣tleman.
First Saint Augustine in his ninth Booke of Confessions, as Peter Martyr noteth in the fifth Chapter vppon the Booke of Iudges, folio. 103. testifi∣eth, that it happened in ye time of Am∣brose (Bishippe of Milloine, aboute the yeare of Christ .377.) For when that holye man together with the peo∣ple, watched euen in the Church, least hee should haue bene betrayed vnto the Arrians, hee brought in singing to a∣uoyd• tediousnesse, and to driue awaye the time: It seemeth that by meanes of sharpe persecutions, the godlye were scattered abroade, so that they hadde no leasure, scarcelye to praye, much lesse to sing, the tyrannye of theyr persecu∣tors was so monstrous, from the time of Nero the sonne of Domitius, beeing about .66. yeare after Christ, vntyll the time of Constantine the greate, which was about ye yere of Christ .333. the sayde godlye Emperour Constan∣tine gaue greate and large giftes, and yeerelye reuenewes to the maintenance of ye Cleargy and Preachers of the Go∣spell. Wherevpon the Bishoppes of Rome fathereth theyr foundation and head of Constantine, (a good pollycye to claime antiquitie, if that verylye Page [unnumbered] which is eternitie, could not discerne the truth) thus, what with strange opinions, and what with persecutions, the space of 241. yeares, or neere there abouts, musick was laide a side, & although that S. Au∣gustine repented him, and that he was sorrie, because he had sometime fallen, by giuing more attentiue héed vnto ye mea∣sures & cords of musicke, then the words which were vnder them spoken, which thing heereby he proueth to be st••e, be∣cause measure and singing wer brought in for the words sake, and not words for Musicke. All this condempneth no mu∣sicke, but the abuse, for in allowing the Church of Alexandria, wherein was a little singing, &c for this cause I say, hee consented ye Musicke should bee retained in the Church, but yet in such manner, yt he sayd, that he was ready to change his sentence, if a better reason could be assig∣ned, & he added, that those doe sin deadly, as they were wont to speak, which giue greater heede to musicke, then vnto the word of God. It seemeth to me, yt there is none so sencelesse, that wil be, or haue bene, in such sort rauished with ye onely melodie of the instrument, that they haue so excepted of the same, forgetting theyr principall vertue of ye true worshipping of God: those that haue bene such, are in the same dampnation, that the common Drunkards, Adulterers, Idolaters, false speakers, viurers, with all those and such wicked, that thinking to drinke, minde not on God, so according to the desire the soule is poisoned, and the gifts of God abused.
But why Musicke seemeth so to ray men in a manner wholye, the reason is plaine, for there are certeine pleasures, which onely fill the outward sences, and there are others also which perteine on∣ly to the mind or reason. But musicke is a delectation so put in the middest, that both by the swéetnesse of the sounds, it moueth the sences, & by the artificialnesse of the number & proportions, it delight∣eth reason it selfe. And it happeneth then chiefly when such words are added vnto it, whose sence is both excellent and lear∣ned, &c. Peter Martir in that discourse, whether singing may be receiued in the Church, sayth. In the East parts the ho∣ly assemblies euen from the beginning vsed singing. Read in his Commentarie folio. 103. Corneli•a Agrippa in his sixt booke of the vanitie of Sciences. cap. 63. setteth forth the abuse of Musicke & the discord (from ye which some supposed the rest condempned) verse curiouslye vnder tearmes or parts of Musicke, as Enhar∣monica, Chromatica, Diatonica, and o∣thers, with a nomination of names, as among the Lacedemonians, the ••itting to armes, and Cretensians, which repeti∣tion of words seeme a great collections, & little matter, as the fable of the Musiti∣on, that by the onely vertue of the Do∣rian tune, the chastitie of Clitemnestia, wife vnto king Agamemnon was pre∣serued, from the assault of Egis•us, who to be reuenged slew the Musition. Ho∣race dislyked the common •odeiers and stage pipers, calling them wonderers, & Cornelius tearmeth them the seruaunts of Baudery, but wheras he sayth (which no graue man, modest, honest, & valiant, euer professed. •eerin he shewed his sole conceil: and forgot that which was done and vsed in holy writ, altogether flouri∣shing among the Poets, giuing an open contempt of that the Poets secretly scor∣ned, declaring onely the abuse, as when he sayth, that the Aegyptians did forbid their young men to learne Musicke, I suppose it was, when Musicke was so common, as it is now in England in e∣uery Alehouse and baudy corner, but not the principall Musicke. Anaxilas sayth, Musicke is euen lyke Affrike, it yéerely bringeth forth some straunge beast. A∣thanasius for the vanitie thereof, did for∣bid it in the Churches, thus be conclu∣deth with the abuse, and not the thing it selfe.
Lo, Lioide, Pilgrimaga of Princes, folio. 133. setteth forth properly Musicke, and sayth, by a Methodical gathering to∣gether of authorities, that there is great controuersie for the antiquitie of Mu∣sicke, beginning with Orpheus, Amphi∣on, and Dionisius of Greece. Polibius sayth, that Musicke was found first in Archadia, Tubal among the Herbrues, and Apollo finding a confused Cha•s, Page 426 setteth downe learners of Musicke, to be Socrates, Aelianus, Agesilaus, Atchitas, & the mightie Hercules, &c. And though some contemne Musick with Diogenes, and say, that it were more profitable to mend manners, then to learne musicke: what is manners, but a concord of ho∣nest intentes, which onelye, is adorned with nothing but vertue. Alexander the great loued Musicke, so did the tyrannt Nero. Heereby may be perceiued concord and discord, Musicke is not the cause of disorder, but disordered mindes abuseth Musicke. Dircedus Captaine ouer the Spartanes, is sayd first to inuent the trū∣pet, and taught the Lacedemonians to sound against the Messena, in the ••etd, therwithall to terrifie the courage of his enimies: for as Musicke to dolefull and pleasant, full of harmonie and melodie: so is Musicke terrible and fearefull of life and courage, for we read in the old age, both autenticall and prophane, that they vsed Instrumentes of sound of sundrye sortes, as among the M•lesio•, pipes a∣mong ye Cretensians instrumentes with strings, a kinde of Gi••ornes: among the Parthians ringing of Bells: among the Aethiopians lowd songs: among the As∣sirians, a kinde of skipping: among the Cambrians little drums made of leather stretched about a whoope, broad, and nar∣row, hauing a kind of hollownesse, All the which they put dry Beanes and Pease, to make ye instrument cattle, with many other vnaccustomed manners. But the absurdest thing of all, which passeth the abuse of Musicke, is, that as the Gentiles and Pagans called vpon Priapus, Pan, Ceres, Iuno, Hercules, Ianus, Bellepho∣ton, Dagon, Rempham, Astaroth, & such like, to be their supporters at armes in the field: so at this day, those which wuld be loth to be called otherwise these chri∣stians, are not ashamed so call Saint George, to borrowe, for the English, Saint Denis for Fraunce, S. Andrew for Scotlande, Saint Iames for Spaine, and so forth in the Christian King∣domes, they tell as first vppon their Saintes, as the Pagan Gentiles called on their tearmed Gods, when in verye deede this foule abuse ought to be refor∣med, which is a discord worse in ye mind then is the dombe instrument, that can sound none otherwise then the Musition either can, or will. To conclude, let all be done to the edifieng one of another, and both in the Lorde, and as for those that cannot awaye with Musicke in the best parte. I leaue them to the a∣forement maker, which is blessed for euer.